Propagating Hydrangeas

June 23, 2009

If you love hydrangeas, as I do, now is the time to propagate them. If you don't have one, maybe a neighbor would let you take a few cuttings. It won't harm the existing plant, so don't be shy in asking. In about 6 weeks you'll be able to plant the cuttings in their permanent site. Hydragea flower.


I took my cuttings from a Macrophylla Hydrangea. They are very adaptable, I have one planted on the north side of my house (shady) and one on the south side (sunny) and some in dappled sun, under trees. They all bloom beautifully! I have propagated all my hydrangeas this way, but I recently read you can place the cuttings in water to root them. You might want to try that.

Approximate Time: 1/2 hour


Potting supplies.


  1. Prepare the growing medium first. Mix equal parts of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite.
  2. Put mixture into 4 inch pots, add water to moisten.
  3. Place the prepared pots on the tray.
  4. Take 6 cuttings from the newer green growth, preferably without flower buds, about a quarter inch thick and 6 inches long. Gently strip all but the top leaves. (Too many leaves make the cutting strain to feed all those leaves.)
  5. Hydrangea plant.
    Hydrangea cutting.

  6. Pour about a tablespoon of rooting hormone on a paper plate (read label for any precautions). Wet the bottom inch of each cutting, roll the wet part of cuttings in the rooting hormone. Poke your finger in the peat moss mixture about 2 inches deep, to form the hole for your cutting. Place each cutting into holes and push dirt back into place.
  7. Potted Hydrangea cuttings.

  8. Pour a little water in the tray. (You could cover in plastic if desired) I don't cover; I keep in a shady spot for about 6 weeks, water to keep moist but not drenched.
  9. After 6 weeks, acclimate the plant to where you want to plant it. Check to see if there seems to be enough rooting system to plant your cuttings. If so, plant in groups of 3. (3 cuttings should be sufficient to form a nice hydrangea) Place a marker where you planted it, they lose their leaves in winter and you might forget about it.
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April 26, 2010

I have tried to propagate hydrangeas and have not had any luck. When is the best time to take the cuttings? Any help will be very much appreciated with detailed propagation tips.


Hardiness Zone: 6a

By Theresa from St Charles, MO


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April 26, 20101 found this helpful

Follow these steps to grow hydrangeas from cuttings.
ModerateInstructionsThings You'll Need:
Small planter
Aluminum sulfate
Hydrangea cuttings
Sandy soil
Small shovel
Step 1Start new cuttings in the spring, though you can start them as late as August. Choose a cutting that has two or three pairs of leaves. Cut about 6 to 8 inches from the nonflowering stem and remove the bottom pair of leaves.

Step 2Add moist, sandy soil to a small planter cup. Plant the cutting in the soil and cover it with a glass jar. Place the jar in bright, but not direct, light. Leave until roots form. You can also put the cutting in a glass of water. Again, place in bright, but not direct, light.


Step 3Plant the cutting outside, after the roots have been established. Pick a mostly sunny area. Dig a hole that is two times the size of the root ball, place the cutting in the hole and cover it with dirt. Add mulch to the top of the hole to fertilize and help maintain moisture. Water immediately.

Step 4Fertilize with a multipurpose plant fertilizer after 6 weeks. Carefully follow package directions.

Step 5Water frequently, since hydrangeas are water-loving plants. If the plant looks wilted, water immediately or you risk not having any blooms.

Step 6Prune hydrangeas in winter to very early spring. If pruned too late, the hydrangea may not bloom that year. If you are unsure as to proper pruning time, do nothing at all. Let the hydrangea bloom and then carefully prune it. Some hydrangeas will grow only in new stems, and others will bloom from old stems.


Step 7Change the acidity of the soil to change the color of the hydrangeas. Acidic soils yield blue flowers. Alkaline soil gives pink flowers, and neutral soils produce white blossoms. To reduce the acidity of soil, add lime. Add aluminum sulfate to increase the acidity.
P S-I just cut off a limb,stick it the soil,keep damp.
good luck.

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April 27, 20101 found this helpful

Steps above are great! It does take a few attempts. I took some cuttings last summer and they looked great. I planted them in the fall and it doesn't look like they are making it.


Might have been our cold winter, not sure.

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April 30, 20101 found this helpful

My best friend, whom I call my Master Gardener, Has started new hydrangeas by laying a low branch on the ground in the soil. She places something like a rock on the branch to keep it held down. By next spring, you should be able to cut the main branch from the "Mother" bush and transplant your new bush where you want. Good luck! It has worked for her. Lots of shrubs can be done this way.

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